Leading Austrian tourist agency's sales and profits decline distinctly in 2009

08:08, November 23, 2009      

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A significant decline in sales and profits occurred in all divisions of the largest Austrian tourism group, the "Verkehrsburo Group," including hotels, leisure tourism and business travel, said the group's Director General Harald Nograsek on Sunday.

He told the Austrian Press Agency (APA) that the annual sales of the "Verkehrsburo Group" were expected to decrease by 10 percent to around 763 million euros. Particularly, in the area of business travel, it would strongly fell by 25 percent to 106 million euros.

Since the outbreak of the financial crisis in the last quarter of 2008, the sales in the division of business travel had already slumped by 4.3 percent, while its pre-tax profits dropped by nearly 36 percent to around 2.5 million euros in 2008.

The fact that business clients are turning increasingly economical imposed a strong impact on the division of hotel, with its sales falling by 13.8 percent to 127.2 million euros this year, according to preliminary calculations.

By contrast, in the division of leisure tourism, the entire year's sales would only fall by 4.4 percent to 530 million euros.

Nograsek said that a recovery, especially in the business sector, may come in "autumn next year," if the economic situation "does not get worse."

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